St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy Weekly Bulletin


Mr. Heide Principal

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Last Sunday was the first week of Advent. Advent is a special time where we prepare for the anniversary of the birth of Jesus. Please make sure you and your family reflect upon this, the true meaning of Christmas as we enter into the season. I’m proud to announce that St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy will be participating in the Brooklyn Queens Catholic Charities’ toy drive. This event helps countless underprivileged children have a Merry Christmas. I ask that you please do your best to donate a new, unwrapped, non-violent toy or gift card. Your donating will help those in our community who are in need at this time of the year. We have a lot of special events over the next few weeks. Please be sure to check your calendar so you don’t miss out.


Mrs. Farrell Director of Religious Education

Our second First Communion meeting was on Thursday, Dec. 1st. The children and their parents will be discussing the sacrament of Baptism and talking specifically about each child’s own Baptism. Our special Mass for them is Dec. 11, at 9:30 AM. Can’t wait to see the baby pictures! We are in full swing for Advent. Each class is preparing for the coming of Jesus. They will be visiting the Prayer Room for special prayer services that they will prepare with their teachers. 


Mrs. Miller UPK Administrator, Ms. Martino UPK, Ms. Crane UPK, Ms. Narain UPK

In our next unit -Where We Live, children will move from inquiring and thinking critically about themselves, their classmates and their family to the spaces that those people inhabit. This week the children will read about different kinds of homes, including apartments, houses, etc. They will investigate themselves and the people important to them by considering the first week’s focus questions, “Where do I live? Where do my family members live?”


Mrs. Saviano Kindergarten

This week Kindergarten is discovering the letter L. They are learning to recognize its initial sound as well as write the capital and lowercase l. They are learning how to add and subtract. We are working on doing good deeds during Advent and preparing for the birth of Jesus. We are also working on many Christmas and winter projects.


Ms. Regina First Grade

This week in first grade Miss Narain has been teaching our class. We have been busy reviewing all of the short vowel words that we’ve learned since September as this first trimester is coming to a close. In math, we have been working with patterns based on shapes, colors, and numbers. We also have been enjoying this first week of Advent and have been learning about this season of the church in our religion studies. We know that the pattern for the Advent wreath is always purple candle, purple candle, pink candle, purple candle. We recognize that there are patterns all around us. I want to thank Miss Narain for being a wonderful substitute teacher for the first graders this week. I look forward to seeing my first grade students again this Monday! I know our buzzword for this week was “cupcake”, and maybe I see some cupcakes in the future for my first graders next week! We’ll see! Have a great weekend!


Ms. Ferraro Second Grade

I hope that you had a blessed and very Happy Thanksgiving.  The second graders celebrated Thanksgiving by making butter and eating cornbread with our delicious homemade butter! As we forge ahead into the Christmas Season, our lives become very busy. We must stop and take the time to remember that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." The children are learning about the Season of Advent and they made an Advent wreath in class. This week we lit the first purple candle, which represents the first week of Advent. On Monday the children were given strips of paper on which they will write their prayer requests. They must be placed in the manger in church on Sunday. The non-Catholic children may bring them to school and I will bring them to church for them. In Math we began learning about different types of graphs and tallying. In reading we are working on a play called "The Bremen Town Musicians", which they are enjoying. I'm looking forward to seeing you for report card distribution next Wednesday. Have a wonderful weekend!


Ms. Rodgers Third Grade

The 3rd graders had a lot to share during our morning meetings this week after Thanksgiving break. We've had a lot to be thankful for this year. We were also happy to welcome Evan back and hear about his adventures in the Dominican Republic. The whole class was excited to see our Christmas tree ready to be decorated when they came back to school. We spent some time Monday morning decorating the tree together and they did a great job; it looks beautiful! We have been using our Absolutely, Advent! books to prepare for the birth of Jesus. Each day our booklets give us a bible passage and activity to do to ready our hearts for Jesus. While Ms. Rodgers was at a day-long Professional Development workshop on Tuesday, the class was very well-behaved for their substitutes. I am happy to know that their good manners are always present. In ELA, we read about Lyuba this week. She's a  40,000 year old baby mammoth that scientists were hoping to clone by this year. We are undecided as to whether we think this is a good idea or not, so we will be doing a little more research in class on this topic! In Math, we've started time measurement. The kids have really been enjoying timing themselves doing various tasks throughout the day. Also this week, we are starting to work on our art projects in the style of Vincent van Gogh's 1889 painting, The Starry Night. We discovered that we have an artist among us, as David brought in his own painted version of the masterpiece!


Mrs. Sorriero Fourth and Fifth Grade ELA and Science

The first week of Advent definitely has the fourth grade in the festive spirit. From our holiday themed essay to the preparation of our Christmas Assembly, our class is still hard at work this December. We are using our snowman essay to transition from four paragraphs to three. Organizing and outlining helps us to communicate clearly to our reading audience. Thinking about another audience, we are busy getting our assembly outfits ready and practicing our moves! Coming back full of turkey, the fifth grade engaged in a playful holiday writing prompt. The goal of the peculiar picture is to produce a detailed writing sample. This will be an ongoing writing target for us. Get ready to rock! The fifth grade is transforming the rock cycle into an original rap song. Each group will be writing the lyrics and performing the rap in class. Family and friends will be able to view the songs via Edmodo next week!


Mrs. Fulgieri Fourth and Fifth Grade Math and Social Studies

With Thanksgiving over and the first candle on the Advent wreath lit, let us try to remember the true meaning of this Christmas season. Daily prayer and good deeds are a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for this joyous season. Both 4th and 5th grades are learning about the Properties of Operations with a strong focus on the Distributive Property of Multiplication. This will definitely help the students gain a clear understanding of the multiplication process. Mastery of the basic multiplication and division facts is necessary for all students. Therefore it would most beneficial for them to have some support from home to help them achieve that goal. Grade 4 will be having a summative chapter 2 assessment on Friday, December 9th. Grade 5 completed their National Park presentations and just finished their park posters. Some of them are even planning next summer's vacations. Get your hiking, fishing, and camping gear ready!


Ms. Catalano Sixth Grade Science, Social Studies, and ELA

The sixth grade is back to work after an enjoyable Thanksgiving vacation. We are grateful for the many blessings we have in our lives. In science, the sixth grade is learning about land biomes, such as the tundra and taiga. In Language Arts, they are having a Units 1 to 3 Vocabulary review test on Thursday. Social Studies finds us beginning a new unit on the early civilizations of Africa and Asia.


Ms. Pellegrino Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade ELA

This week in ELA both Seventh and Eighth grades will have their biweekly Vocabulary test. Eighth grade is reading their novel "Specials". Seventh grade is learning how various types of sentences help their writing sound better. In Religion we are discussing Advent and the meaning of this season. As we approach Christmas we are getting ready for the Christmas show. This is a very fun and exciting month!


Ms. Winwood Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science

The Eighth grade has been studying erosion and deposition, namely, wave and wind. There will be a test on this sometime next week.  The seventh grade just got their next interactive text on the diversity of life. They are happily done with cells. Eighth grade religion is studying the origins of the Catholic Church and the sixth grade is studying the old testament. The 8th grade has mass on Friday, which is also an early dismissal. We are in the midst of trying to develop a show for breakfast with Santa. This is becoming a rather painful process, but we are keeping a good sense of humor! Don't forget to work on the public high school applications and get ready for report cards next week!


Mr. DeMarinis Seventh, and Eighth Grade Social Studies

I hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving. This week the 7th graders are learning about the growth of the 13 colonies and will have a test on chapter 4 early next week. The 8th graders are studying Reconstruction, the rebuilding of the South after the Civil war. In religion, 8-1 had a test Wednesday on chapter 7 and we began chapter 8 which traces the story of early Church. The 8th graders are busy practicing for Breakfast with Santa. Please buy tickets and support our academy. Thank you to all the people that make fund raisers like Breakfast with Santa a reality.


Mrs. Corrado Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Grade Math, and Math 9

This week all grades worked on strengthening their number sense skills. They created 4-section posters to look like Christmas gifts, in which each section contained important information regarding their chosen topic. Next week all grades will be working on Unit Rates, Rates of change, and Proportional Relationships. These are all standards in all grades, taught at differing levels of rigor.


Ms. Fitzgerald Physical Education

Welcome back, I hope everyone had a fun, yet relaxing weekend off. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving spending it with family and friends. Over these past couple of weeks, we have been getting into the game of basketball. Over the weeks we took apart each aspect of the sport. First students worked on dribbling then passing and more recently shooting and defense. By breaking down each area students are working on improving the sport overall. I am seeing great work from everyone.


Señorita Mena Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Spanish

¡Hola! We're back from the Thanksgiving break everything is going great. For our 5th grade class, they have learned key words and phrases for Christmas. They had such a great time learning the words. Being that our Spanish classroom has decoraciónes! The kids were able to identify them in Spanish. The 6th graders are ready for the next creative project we've been brainstorming and working on Spanish conversion. The 7th grade class showed their interest in Latin American history by simply asking how do we say gum in Spanish. We also discussed the civil war that occurred in El Salvador. Our 8th grade class is working on the complex verb "Gustar" which means to like! And it seems everyone likes pizza. ¡Gracias!